Ancient Albatross Award

The Ancient Albatross Officer Award (Aviator) was instituted in ’66 to honor the Coast Guard Aviator on active duty holding the earliest designation in recognition of clear defiance of the private realm of the albatross and all it seabird kin while in pursuit of the time-honored Coast Guard duties.

The Ancient Albatross Officer award is sponsored by Airbus Group and Sikorsky Aircraft


VADM Wililam D. Shields 30 Dec 1965
RADM Charles Tighe 27 Aug 1966
ADM Chester R. Bender 28 Aug 1970
CDR Walter R. Goldhammer 01 June 1974
RADM Chester. A. Richmond, Jr. 01 July 1975
ADCMAP John P. Greathouse 01 July 1977
CAPT William D. Harvey   23 Feb 1979
VADM Charles E. Larkin 05 Sept 1979
RADM Frederick P. Schubert   31 July 1984
VADM Donald C. Thompson   24 May 1985
RADM Edward Nelson, Jr.   08 June 1988
VADM Clyde E. Robbins 19 May 1989 >
VADM Howard B. Thorsen 05 June 1990
RADM George D. Passmore 27 June 1991
RADM Thomas T. Matteson   05 June 1992
RADM William C. Donnell 19 June 1993
VADM Richard D. Herr   23 May 1997
RADM Edward J. Barrett   30 June 1998
RADM James C. Olson  14 July 2000**
RADM David W. Kunkel 13 May 2006
VADM Vivien S. Crea 26 June 2008
RADM Gary T. Blore 1 October 2009
VADM John P.Currier 14 July 2011
RADM John H. Korn 4 June 2014
VADM Charlie Ray 6 April 2015

** Longest holding Ancient Albatross

Current Ancient Albatross Admiral Charles W. Ray

Vice Commandant, U.S Coast Guard 

Admiral Charles W. Ray assumed the duties as the 31st Vice Commandant on May 24, 2018. As the Vice Service Chief and Chief Operating Officer, Admiral Ray executes the Commandant’s Strategic Intent, manages internal organizational governance and serves as the Component Acquisition Executive.

Prior to this appointment, Admiral Ray served as the Deputy Commandant for Operations, responsible for establishing and providing operational strategy, policy, guidance and resources to meet national priorities for Coast Guard missions, programs and services.

His previous flag officer assignments include Pacific Area Commander, Deputy Pacific Area Commander, the Fourteenth Coast Guard District Commander, service with U.S. Forces Iraq as Director of the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission for the Ministry of Interior, and the Military Advisor to the Secretary of the Department Homeland Security.

A native of Newport, Arkansas, he graduated from Coast Guard Academy in 1981. After an assignment as a deck watch officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter ACUSHNET (WMEC-167), he was selected for Naval Flight Training and earned his wings in 1984.

He served at six Coast Guard Air Stations from Alaska to the Caribbean accumulating over 5,000 hours of helicopter flight time. Admiral Ray was designated as an Aeronautical Engineer in 1988 and served as Engineering Officer at three stations and at the Aviation Logistics Center as the Program Manager for the development of the Coast Guard’s Aviation Logistics Management System. He commanded Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico from 2002 through 2005. Admiral Ray is the longest serving active duty Coast Guard aviator which has earned him the distinction of being Coast Guard’s 25th Ancient Albatross.

His staff assignments include a tour as Chief of the Office of Performance Management at Coast Guard Headquarters followed by a tour as the Chief of Staff of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District. Admiral Ray earned a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Administration from Purdue University and a Master of Science Degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C.

Admiral Ray’s personal awards include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, five Legion of Merit Medals, one Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, one Coast Guard Air Medal, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal

Enlisted Ancient Albatross Award

In ’88, the Enlisted Ancient Albatross Award was established to honor the Coast Guard enlisted aircrew member on active duty with the earliest graduation date from an aviation technical school.

The Ancient Albatross Enlisted Trophy is sponsored by Airbus Group and Sikorsky Aircraft

Enlisted Aircrew

ADCM J. T. Woltz 08 June 1990
MCPO-CG Eric A. Tren> 01  Dec 1995
SCPO Gary Butler 30 June 1998
AVTCM Douglas W. Farence 02 Nov 1999
AMTCM Bernard D. Irsik 14 July 2000
AMTCM Mark T. Bigart 24 April  2002
AMTCM Wiliam Beardsley 11 April 2003
SCPO Peter MacDougall 13 May 2006**
AETCM Michael F. Ferreira 8 August 2014
ASTCM Clay Hill 20 August 2015
MCPO Kit L Harris 14 July 2017
AMTCM Broderick W Johnson 24 May 2019

** Longest holding Ancient Albatross

Current Enlisted Ancient Albatross
AMTCM Broderick W. Johnson

Command Master Chief
Air Station Detroit

Master Chief Johnson assumed the responsibilities of Command Master Chief at Coast Guard Air Station Detroit in July of 2016. He is from Riverside, CA and a 1990 graduate of Riverside Polytechnic High School. He completed Coast Guard Basic Training in 1991 and graduated from the Coast Guard Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, NC in 1995.

Master Chief Johnson’s air station assignments include Coast Guard Air Station Brooklyn, Barbers Point, HI, and Coast Guard Air Stations Los Angeles and Detroit on two separate occasions. Master Chief Johnson has been a member of aviation detachments on board the Coast Guard Cutters Mellon, Hamilton, Sherman and Rush on two occasions. While onboard the Cutter Sherman, he flew high seas interdiction missions in Central and South America in support of the Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice. Master Chief Johnson flew Deployable Rotary Wing Air Intercept missions for Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and for the President Ronald Reagan national memorial service in Simi Valley, CA. He also coordinated aircraft and crews in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Master Chief Johnson is a graduate of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy and the Senior Enlisted Leadership Course at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. He has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Homeland Security from Indiana State University and a Master of Science Degree with Distinction in Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He also completed the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Professional Aviation Safety Management Fellowship at the University of Southern California. Master Chief Johnson has flown over 2300 flight hours and was a Flight Examiner on the HH-65A, B and MH-65C model helicopters. His personal awards include the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, nine Coast Guard Good Conduct Medals and various other personal and unit awards.